December 28, 2023

Simplifying Ethereum's PoS: Vitalik Buterin Proposes Streamlining Validator Signatures

In a bid to alleviate the strain on the Ethereum blockchain, co-founder Vitalik Buterin has introduced a proposal to streamline the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus.

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, recently put forth a proposal to streamline the operations of the Ethereum blockchain. Dated December 27, Buterin's proposal targets a simplification of the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus by advocating for a reduction in validator signatures, aiming to create a lighter and more efficient network.

Despite Ethereum's commitment to decentralization and widespread stakeholder involvement, the current system with approximately 895,000 validators encounters a significant challenge. The processing of around 28,000 signatures per slot places a considerable burden on the network.

This substantial workload gives rise to technical difficulties such as limited quantum resistance and the adoption of intricate scaling solutions involving zero-knowledge proofs (SNARKs). Additionally, the minimum requirement of 32 ether for becoming a validator poses accessibility challenges for many potential participants.

Buterin's proposal recommends a reduction in the number of signatures to approximately 8,192 per slot. This strategic adjustment aims to simplify the system, enhance quantum resistance, and maintain a substantial amount of ETH at stake to bolster security.

To address these concerns, Buterin introduces three potential solutions: decentralized staking pools, a two-tiered staking system, and a rotational participation model with accountable committees. These proposed solutions are anticipated to better manage the digital signature load.

By establishing a more manageable signature load, Ethereum's future development is expected to become smoother and more predictable. Buterin underscores the importance of caution, suggesting that any increase in signatures per slot should only occur when future developers are confident that the technology can handle it seamlessly. This aligns with his earlier warning in May about the potential risks associated with overloading Ethereum's core functions.

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